The Ukrainian Seaports Authority (USPA), the state-owned Odesa Commercial Seaport, Brooklyn-Kiev Port LLC, and the CMA CGM group, which is one of the largest shipping companies in the world, signed a memorandum of understanding in France on 7 December, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure.

"The memorandum that was signed today provides hope that a large-scale infrastructure project will be implemented in the Odesa seaport in the near future, which will attract investments in development of the Odesa seaport’s infrastructure, increase cargo flows and the number of ship calls to the Odesa seaport, introduce new production technologies in the Odesa seaport, create jobs, and raise social standards for port workers," said Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian, who was present during the signing of the document.

"The berths Nos. 13-з and 14-с at the Odesa seaport will be reconstructed under this project. This will prevent ships from idling and significantly increase the volume of cargo handling," the USPA’s head Raivis Veckagans said.

According to Omelian, cooperation with CMA CGM will be beneficial because it will ensure investments in development of the Odesa seaport, increase of cargo flows, and, consequently, significant revenues into central and local budgets.

“The container terminal at Khlebnaya Harbor is achieving an impressive increase in transshipment volumes,” the Odesa port authority’s head Ihor Tkachuk said. “At the same time, the terminal cannot receive vessels that are 300 meters long because it does not have the length of the berth No. 42. The Brooklyn-Kiev Port2 company, which operates the terminal, currently bypasses this problem by using the facilities of the universal berth No. 43. However, this is not very convenient... Considering the existing potential for development of the terminal, we are confident that the decision of our partner CMA CGM to increase its presence in the Odesa seaport in the near future will bring economic benefits to all parties."

CMA CGM is the largest sea container carrier in France. The company's headquarters is in Marseille. CMA CGM is represented in more than 160 countries. The company has a fleet of about 500 vessels with a combined capacity of 2.53 million TEU. CMA CGM transported 18.95 million TEU last year.